Vergil Ortiz and Antonio Orozco Are Ready to Battle
By: Sean Crose
“I want to thank Golden Boy and Eric Gomez;” says welterweight contender and rising Golden Boy Promotions star Vergil Ortiz. “He was the first guy to discover me when I was an amateur and gave me this opportunity, and I’m just really grateful for it.” The hard hitting 13-0 Ortiz has won all his bouts by knockout, proving himself a valuable asset to his promoter. This Saturday night he’ll be facing the 28-1 Antonio Orozco in a scheduled 12 round affair which will be aired live on DAZN from the Theater at Grand Prairie, Texas. Orozco is no one’s easy out, which means the fight can certainly prove to be interesting.
“We know the tremendous fighter that Vergil Ortiz is,” Orozco says, “and everyone knows my style of fighting. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. It’s a great opportunity, putting us both towards that world title shot again, and I’m looking for to that victory on Saturday.” For Ortiz, this means a chance to make his mark as future star in the starstruck welterweight division. For Orozco, it means a chance to do what others have been doing in boxing lately – surprising people. Count an Orozco win to be up there with Ruiz-Joshua and Pascal-Browne as one of the bigger upsets of the year.
Ortiz, however, makes it clear that he’s grounded in his rise up the division and that he takes his opponent this weekend very seriously. “I think everything has been said already,” he claims. “I’m not here to mess around. Golden Boy has given me some tough fights and I have passed them with flying colors, even though I’m color blind. Orozco is a very tough opponent, I’m not taking him lightly at all.”
Ortiz also speaks highly of Orozco, opting out of the shallow trash talk that sometimes comes with the fight game.
“He deserves all the respect in the world,” says Ortiz, “especially on that ring. It’s sink or swim…good thing I’m a good swimmer. I’m just looking forward to seeing those familiar faces in the audience. Best of luck to Orozco. This isn’t personal, we are here to support our families.”
DAZN will also feature a bantamweight battle on Saturday evening which is well worth noting, for the 15-1-1 Joshua Franco will engage in his third, that’s third, battle with the 10-2-1 Oscar Nagrete. Franco won their last battle by split decision. The first fight between these two ended in a draw. In short, there’s much to like about this matter of unfinished business. “ I think I won the first one,” says Franco. “I won the second one, and this time is even going to be worse for him.” Nagrete, of course, sees things differently. “I fought two exciting fights in the past,” he says. “Those two fights were very good fights, emotional fights, where I felt like I won, and most people have told me that I won. I’m here to prove that I won and show that I am the true champion.”
“I hope Joshua Franco is prepared,” he adds, “and I hope that this time, he comes to fight and not to run.”
ESPN Boxing Preview: Ramirez vs. Orozco
By: Ken Hissner
Unbeaten WBC World Super Lightweight champion Jose Carlos Ramirez will defend his title Friday night against No. 3 ranked Antonio “Relentless” Orozco at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California.
This will be the first title defense for Ramirez, 22-0 (16) who won the vacant title in March defeating Amir “Young Master” Imam, then 21-1, at Madison Square Garden, New York.
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Boxing
Orozco, 27-0 (17), from San Diego, CA, last fought in March winning an 8 round decision over Mexico’s Martin “El Brochas” Honorio, 33-13-1. He also defeated him back in May of 2014. He has wins over Emmanuel Taylor, 18-3, Steve Forbes, 35-13, Humberto “Little Fox” Soto, 65-8-2, Abner Lopez, 23-5, Ivan Hernandez, 29-3, and Keandre Gibson, 16-0-1.
Prior to the Imam fight Ramirez defeated Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed, then 23-0. The 26 year-old represented the USA in the 2012 Olympics. He lost in the second round. He won five straight US championships and in the 2011 World Championships in Baku, AZE, he lost in the second round to current WBA Lightweight champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Ukraine’s Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, 16-9. In the 2012 Olympic Qualifier he won a Bronze medal losing to current unbeaten Dominican Wellington Romero, 14-0-1.
As a professional Ramirez won the NABF and WBC Continental Americas titles prior to becoming a world champion. He is trained by Freddie Roach and promoted by Top Rank.
The co-feature has Russian Alexander Besputin, 10-0 (8), living in Oxnard, CA, taking on Mexican Alan Sanchez, 20-3-1, of Fairfield, CA, for the vacant USBA Welterweight title. This has a loaded undercard.
Also, on the card are Japan’s WBO Asia Pacific Super Lightweight champ Hiroki Okada, 18-0 (13), taking on Argentina’s Cristian Rafael Coria, 27-6-2 (11). 2012 USA Olympian southpaw Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring, 17-2 (10), of Cinn., OH, taking on Filipino John Vincent “Mulawin” Moralde, 20-1 (10), for the vacant USBA Super Featherweight title.
Costa Rica’s Super Featherweight No. 4 WBA contender Bryan “El Tiquito” Vasquez, 36-3 (20), takes on Venezuela’s Carlos “El Profeta” Cardenas, 23-14-1 (14), living in Mexico. Vasquez in his last bout won the WBA Fedelatin title. He has wins over Sergio Thompson, 30-3, Jose Felix, Jr., 27-0-1, and losses to Javier Fortuna, for the vacant WBA World Super Feather title and “Sugar” Ray Beltran, by majority decision who in his next fight won the WBO World Lightweight title.
Orozco, Gesta Emerge Victorious on ESPN
Orozco, Gesta Emerge Victorious on ESPN
By: Sean Crose
Mercino Gesta, the 29-1-2 lightweight started off the night at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas on Saturday against the 27-3 Gilberto Gonzalez in a ten round lightweight affair. The bout, which opened the televised version of Golden Boy Promotions’ ESPN 2 (and ESPN 3, and ESPN Desportes) card, got off to a fast start, with Gesta banging away at his foe. It was obvious the man was looking to make quick work of his opponent. Gesta banged away again through the second, but late in the round, got caught by Gonzalez. Still, it was clear Gesta remained in control of the bout.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
He wasn’t in control about halfway through the third, however, as Gonzalez put him on the mat. Still, Gesta was able to get to his feet and once again dominate. Gonzalez was a livewire, true, but Gesta was giving the more disciplined performance. As the bout worked it’s way into its second half, Gesta continued to hit and move effectively, but Gonzalez was able to connect on occasion. If the man had been able to cut off the ring proficiently, Gesta might have found himself in trouble.
It was a hard, interesting bout. Gonzalez was a grinding fighter. One who just kept coming forward despite the fact that he was outclassed in the skill department. More than a few talented fighters have fallen at the gloves of the Gonzalez’ of the world, so this particular bout remained intriguing. Still, Gesta was simply throwing the better shots as the eighth round came to a close. He was able to dominated the ninth, as well. And even though Gonzalez gave it his all in the 10th, Gesta was able to earn himself a unanimous decision win.
It was time for the main event, where the WBCs #1 superlightweight contender, the 25-0Antonio Orozco faced the undefeated, 16-0-1KeAndre Gibson. The first round featured both fighters exchanging blows. Notable, however, was the fact that Orozco worked the body well. The second round was a close affair, but again, Orozco’s body work was worth noting. By the end of the round, the man was banging away at Gibson against the ropes.
Orozco started making good work of his man in the third. Gibson was game and had a quality skill set, but Orozco never let him get into his comfort zone early and made the fight a grinding affair. One couldn’t help but wonder how effective Gibson may have been had he employed his jab with regularity. One wouldn’t have to wonder long, however, as Gibson was dropped in the fourth. The man didn’t answer the ref after rising, so the fight was stopped.
A good night of boxing.